Death of Chechen Election Official Was Accidental — Father

A local election official in Chechnya has died after suffering a gunshot wound, but his father contradicted initial reports that said his son was attacked and said he had shot himself by mistake, Interfax reported.

Isa Temirgirayev, the chairman of a local election commission in Chechnya’s Nozhai-Yurt district, picked up a gun at a friend’s house and it went off by accident, the victim’s father, Buvaisar, said.

Citing regional officials, the agency initially reported that Temirgirayev had been shot by unidentified assailants. On Nov. 27, voters in Chechnya are to elect a parliament for the first time since the start of a devastating war in 1999 — the second war in a decade.

Both the chief of Chechnya’s Election Commission, Ismail Baikhanov, and Nozhai-Yurt administration chief Vakha Magamgaziyev also said Temirgirayev’s death was an accident and had nothing to do with the vote.

Fighting persists, and the mostly Muslim region in southern Russia is plagued by daily violence and rampant abductions blamed alternately on Russian troops, rebel fighters and forces of the Moscow-backed Chechen government, AP points out.

Bodies of three men who had been shot in the head were found in a village west of the capital Grozny late Wednesday, and that another man shot in the leg in the same attack had been hospitalized.